Put aside all bitterness, losing your temper, anger, shouting, and slander, along with every other evil. Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to each other, in the same way God forgave you in Christ. ~Ephesians 4:31-32 (CEB)
Lose the Negativity
While being stern is sometimes needed, being harsh is not. When you have a problem, disagreement, or concern with someone, there is no need to be harsh when trying to resolve it or convey your feelings because of it. Negativity in a conversation is a formula for disaster. While anger is understandable and a natural part of life, being disrespectful as a result of that anger is not. Slander is never acceptable because when you slander someone else, it typically means you’re not revealing the whole truth about you. Question: What does it solve to point out every flaw a person has that is completely unrelated to the situation at hand? Answer: It doesn’t solve anything, but instead it causes the person to put up defenses which prevents the conversation from easily coming to a resolution.
When you handle someone with care, you can have honest conversation about how you feel without accusing them or causing them to naturally be on the defense in their response.
Love One Another
God’s ultimate sacrifice was shown when He gave His only son’s life in exchange for the opportunity for eternal salvation. (John 3:16) The opportunity that some people choose not to believe in, take advantage of, or acknowledge, but I digress. God’s kindness and compassion extends through Jesus who is our human example of how to manage our emotions from a place of kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and love. It’s not always easy, but it is always possible. When Judas betrayed Jesus, (John 13:21-30) he told him “What you are about to do, do quickly,” and after Judas left, he talked to the Disciples about loving each other. (John 13:31-35) After all, you have been forgiven for your sins, your excuses, and your rationalizations for being disobedient; so what makes the next flawed human any different than you. We are all flawed, we all fall short of the perfectness of Jesus, but we are all forgiven, given multiple chances, and have access to a God who loves unconditionally and abundantly. I know it is a movie, but I love how “The Shack” reminded us that God is especially fond of all of us.
When someone handles you with care, they are attentive to your dreams, goals, visions, fears, and concerns. They build you up instead of tearing you down. They pray for you instead of preying on you. They edify and encourage instead of being a hater and jealous. They provide insightful feedback that you may not always want to hear, but need to hear, instead of superficial thoughtless chatter that has no value.
Call To Action: Who are you handling with care? Who can you handle with better care? Who may you need to allow some space with because they are not handling you with proper care?